July 1, 2015 – Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania – The Gathering Place, a community center and arts venue planned for the former Clarks Summit firehouse, recently received a groundswell of financial support and secured their commitment to the arts and education in the greater Abington area.
At a May 27 meeting of the Commonwealth Financing Authority, a $100,000 grant was approved for Clarks Summit Borough to support the transformation of the former firehouse garage at 304 S. State Street into the inclusive space. Funds were provided through the Monroe County Local Share Account (LSA) that are reserved for economic development, community development, and public interest projects in Monroe and contiguous counties including Lackawanna.
Following the grant approval, board members of The Gathering Place delivered their first rent check to the Clarks Summit Borough Council during their regular meeting on June 3.
The LSA grant represents a significant step forward in the overall direction of the project, but the work is not yet complete. According to estimates by A.J. Guzzi General Contractors, renovations to transform the firehouse will be more than $300,000. Because of those projected costs, community support is still necessary to make The Gathering Place a reality.
To that end, members of The Gathering Place have just used the non-profit giving platform, GiveGab, to collect community donations. The first GiveGab campaign, “Start with Art,” will help fund the core of The Gathering Place’s facility – an art studio that will serve all members of all ages and abilities from northeastern Pennsylvania. We exceeded our goal of raising $5000.00.
The Gathering Place (www.GatheringPlaceCS.org) is a new community center that celebrates inclusive partnerships, creativity, education, and the arts in Clarks Summit and the Abingtons. The organization is transforming the first floor of the first floor of the former Clarks Summit firehouse into its new home. This will become the main location for the Abington Area Community Classroom’s popular sessions, and a venue for local artists and community groups to learn, create, and share their talents and knowledge in a welcoming, caring community. The new space will feature an art studio, kitchen, classrooms, and an open area that can accommodate small events, exhibits, and theatrical productions.